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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why can't the ICF program be simply shut down?

I assume that NIF has been unsuccessful in increasing its yield beyond the 26 kJ high-foot results? I haven't seen any news articles after the "break-even" PR campaign. 

Why can't the ICF program be simply shut down? Why do programs such as Omega in Rochester continue as well? Recently I heard that the Z MagLIF (the Sandia version of fusion) results were not very promising after some earlier fanfare.

Yes, there are the usual stockpile stewardship arguments. But ICF is a dud. It probably is the perpetual motion machine of our time.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is too big to be shut down. And the last thing the ICF program needs is to ignite anything, which would be a disaster for everyone involved. Things are moving forward exactly as they should be moving forward.

Anonymous said...

I'm really curious to see what kind of crazy plan they will propose to move forward. It's been several years since the the big bubble burst, and now they have to come up with new deliverables and a path forward.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly there is big ICF review this summer. I suppose all the "experts" will agree that great progress has been made and funding should be increased at all facilities.

Anonymous said...

That is a guaranteed conclusion, since the directors of all three national lab players have already gone on record as supporting continued ICF research in a letter to Klotz.

Anonymous said...

At least Feinstein is still on their side:

In another round of questions Feinstein spoke about current experiments at the National Ignition Facility. Less than half of these experiments involve ignition; the remaining are for other aspects of stockpile stewardship. Feinstein spoke of conversations she had at NIF about new research strategies to better understand how to achieve ignition since previous efforts had failed, and was assured that these efforts would continue.

From
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2015/house-and-senate-appropriators-review-fy-2016-request-national-nuclear-security


Anonymous said...

The premise of your question is wrong. The point of ICF research is not to achieve ignition, it's to train physicists in the physics of high energy density science. In other words, its a way to get otherwise rational and intelligent people to devote their life to a career of dubious current and future prospects.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2015 at 9:43 AM:

"The physics of high energy density science": Astrophysics, spacecraft propulsion, asteroid impact, weapons research, nuclear forensics, plus a multitude of more basic research subjects. A "career of dubious current and future prospects"? Hardly. The future of physics? Yes.

Anonymous said...

Outside the national labs, it is a career of dubious current and prospects and very few people. There are not many overlaps with real astrophysics, and lab experiments are very very limited. Spacecraft propulsion and asteroid impacts? Oh dear. It is all about weapons physics, which limits the applications to the national labs and a handful of collaborators who smell money. But it makes a plausible-sounding cover.

Anonymous said...

April 12, 2015 at 3:53 PM:

April 12, 2015 at 9:43 AM's comment was about the "physics of high energy density science" not about laser fusion. Go back and read it.

Anonymous said...

You should probably go back and read my comment, which did not say anything about laser fusion. "High energy density physics" was a subfield created as cover for weapons physics.

Anonymous said...

You should probably go back and read my comment, which did not say anything about laser fusion.

April 12, 2015 at 10:07 PM

Aside from mentioning NIF and ignition, you mean?

Anonymous said...

You need eyeglasses, go back and read April 12, 2015 at 3:53 PM

Anonymous said...

LHC > ITER > NIF

Anonymous said...

You need eyeglasses, go back and read April 12, 2015 at 3:53 PM

April 13, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Sorry, I discounted that post because it was even more stupid than April 12, 2015 at 9:43 AM. Not many overlaps between HEDP and astrophysics.?? Really??

Anonymous said...

Really. You can't do many meaningful experiments that have impact on astrophysics, for all kinds of excellent reasons. There are a small handful of exceptions, that are not really HEDP. People have been pushing the astrophysics angle for decades as a way to legitimize weapons physics as something more than glorified bomb engineering.

Anonymous said...

People have been pushing the astrophysics angle for decades as a way to legitimize weapons physics as something more than glorified bomb engineering.

April 13, 2015 at 11:14 PM

Ah, the agenda finally peaks out from behind the obfuscation. It is all of weapons physics you hate.

Anonymous said...

You can extrapolate from the failed Laser Deuterium EOS fiasco to NIF... that should tell you about the quality of the weapons work.

Anonymous said...

that should tell you about the quality of the weapons work.

April 14, 2015 at 5:45 PM

As if laser "weapons work" is the only weapons science going on. Get real.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Let's talk about their materials strength effort then. Complete rubbish, even worse than their EoS work...

Anonymous said...

Still obsessing about lasers.

Anonymous said...

Well this thread leads off talking about NIF and the failed high-foot campaign.

Anonymous said...

Without the ongoing joke we mistakenly call NIF, Livermore would cease to exist. When it did, the Bechtels of this world would take a $100M shot to the shorts each year. Therefore NIF is a fantastic idea that will always be just a few years from success. It isn't complicated or subtle.

Anonymous said...

Therefore NIF is a fantastic idea that will always be just a few years from success. It isn't complicated or subtle.

April 19, 2015 at 8:24 AM

HaHa. "Fusion energy" has been "30 years away from reality" every year for the past 60 years. What's new?

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